In the middle of one of my coaching sessions, I stumbled across a concept I think is worth sharing with you all. My client and I were discussing how ideas become actions and how sometimes our heads tend to get in the way of our progress because we think ourselves right out of the idea.
It’s going to get a little messy after this, so if you have delicate sensibilities, it’s probably best to check out now. I don’t want anyone getting offended by a little tongue-in-cheek references. However, if you can handle a little wit with your wisdom, then let’s continue.
Motivation is a funny thing, as powerful as it is fleeting. One second you can be pumped up from a really great idea, and within a few moments, the luster has worn off and you’re already talking yourself out of it. From my experience, the best way to go from idea to action is a process of letting your mind take a breather while other parts take over. It’s about flow, from one part to another, a process I call: Head, Heart, Guts & Nuts
All your ideas are valid, but they may not be viable for you. We need to keep our noodles working in order to maintain a steady flow of creative ideas. The more ideas you even consider, the more creative you get with those ideas as you work.
Write everything down and compartmentalize the thoughts into groups so that you can easily reach out to them later. I use Evernote for this, and it works wonders for all kinds of idea generation. The problem with having tons of ideas written down is filtering them later, but Evernote is pretty good with that too. If you haven’t guessed, I highly recommend Evernote.
The mind is great for ideas, but it’s also notorious for buzz kill. Your brain will steal your thunder in a hot minute if you let it. Once you have an idea you believe is worthy, it’s important to get your head out of the way and start focusing on the emotion behind your idea. Your idea needs a soul, it needs life, and it gets that from your emotive side.
Take a second and dwell on the possible success of your idea, where you’ll be when the success hits; how will you feel in that moment? Or how will others feel when they get a glimpse of your idea? Imagine a better world because of your idea and hold onto that as further motivation for progress.
Your instinct has almost assuredly already kicked in here. Sometimes your gut instinct works in conjunction with your heart and/or your mind but occasionally you need to really put it to some true test of intestinal fortitude.
Your idea might scare you. Others might tell you that it will never work, but dig deep into your instinct and try to glimpse what feels right. Sometimes you just know that something is going to work right. Other times you might get the feeling it’s not a worthy effort. You may not want to listen to your gut instinct every time, but if you’re like me, more times than not, your gut is right about things more than your head.
Grow a Pair
None of this idea generation is worth a damn if you’re not willing to put it all on the line and act on that idea. Some ideas are scary as hell, and will test your will, so you need to step up or shut up.
Having the nuts to act on an idea is an exhilarating experience. Do it once and you’ll crave that buzz again and again, testing your strength more each time. Also, don’t think for one second that this is a solely male experience; women can enjoy the feeling just as much. Of course they can’t grab their own pair in triumph once they conquer their idea, but a ceremonious clutching wouldn’t be out of the question, ladies.
The Process in Action
It’s easy to talk about this process, but not always easy to do. Here are a couple examples of how I put this process into action on my own ideas, starting with the plan to write a new book.
- Head – I have an idea to write a new book about Etsy, but with a straight-forward, no BS approach.
- Heart – I’m passionate about Etsy, on many levels, so it makes sense I would write about it and share stories with others.
- Guts – I have a lot of book ideas, but internally, this feels like the one I should be writing first
- Nuts – Got to put the plan into action. I started writing yesterday, and I will continue writing a little every day until it’s done.
A more relatable idea I had was this blog post. The idea came to me, but I wasn’t sure if I should post it.
- Head – As I mentioned, the idea for this post came to me while helping a client. When people heard the phrase, they laughed in amusement.
- Heart – The process, even before the catchy name, is something I’ve done for awhile and I am certain it is a key to my success
- Guts – Writing this post here was questionable, but something told me inside that said this was going to be a very worthwhile idea.
- Nuts – Proof is in the pudding.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the point of this post is to share this process so you an implement it as well, but also to get my ideas formulated for what I think will be a much bigger picture later on. I can’t really expand on that just yet, but as soon as I get a better handling on the concept, I’ll let you know what plays out for the future.